Hyundai Offering Lump Sum Payout in MPG Fallout; Adds 6,100 Cars to Veloster Sunroof Recall

By Jacob Brown | February 27, 2013
When it rains, it has a tendency to pour, so Korean automaker Hyundai is discovering. For Hyundai, controversy still surrounds the automaker in the wake of its November fuel-economy boondoggle that sent its factory-rated EPA numbers tumbling following an investigation. Now, Hyundai is agreeing to a lump sum payout to customers who may not be happy with the refillable debit card reimbursement the automaker has offered. Consolidated from 38 class-action lawsuits into one, the proposed settlement would allow owners to take a one-time payment instead of the refillable cards. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed yet. Paragraphimage Affected in the fuel economy debacle were 600,000 Hyundai vehicles and 300,000 Kias, a partly owned affiliate of Hyundai's. According the initial plan, Hyundai would set aside $225 million to deal with claims, offering to repay customers for their lost fuel plus 15 percent for as long as they owned the vehicle. Kia allocated $187 million. But one class action said that customers should be entitled to as much as $775 million. To get the money, owners of affected cars would take their vehicles into a dealership for an odometer reading, receiving the difference in money plus the premium for the amount of miles they drove against the difference of the car's adjusted and unadjusted EPA numbers on a refillable gas card. Customers could come in over and over again. This was a shrewd idea in that it forced Hyundai and Kia owners to interact with their local dealers, helping right some wrongs. Under the lump sum plan, customers will be able to get 150 percent of the payment in the form of a dealer credit or 200 percent towards the purchase of a new Hyundai. Kia has not yet accepted the terms of the deal, but it has the right to do so. So far, neither automaker is commented on the deal, as it's pending litigation. Hyundai Expands Veloster Sunroof Recall Hyundai is expanding the recall for the panoramic sunroof on the Veloster to cover 6,100 additional cars. Under the initial recall in December, 13,500 Velosters from the 2012 model year were recalled to fix glass panels that had a tendency to shatter. That number is now at 19,600. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says no one has been seriously hurt from the panels shattering, but some have been replaced. Hyundai will continue to check the panels and replace them as necessary. Customers of affected vehicles will be notified shortly. Sources: Automotive News (Subscription required), Detroit Free Press